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Internet restored in parts of southern Somalia


Monday July 27, 2020

Mogadishu (HOL) - Internet connectivity has been restored in parts of southern Somalia after close to 31 hours of being in the dark.

Netblock, an internet advocacy group, said that the national connectivity is sitting at just 30% of the average level. They noted that Mogadishu is particularly hard hit.

The group previously suggested that there was no indication of a technical failure or a cyber-attack, leading them to conclude that it may have been an intentional blackout affecting cellular and fixed-line networks.

Although Somalia shares it's underwater cables with several other neighbouring countries, Netblock said only Somalia seems to be affected at this time.

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A preliminary analysis of sub-sea cable networks shows no ongoing international cable cut affecting multiple countries. Most, but not all, of Somalia's leading business and residential service providers are believed to be changed.

Hormuud claimed that windy conditions caused the outage, a claim backed by Somalia's telecom minister Abdi Anshur Hassan.

"The Ministry is further informed that the EASSy Consortium, in the meantime, mobilized an e-marine repair vessel to undertake the repair at EASSy Segment 10, which is calculated at about 27km from the Mogadishu BMH (See attached photo)."

However, Netblock refutes this by saying the weather conditions were when the alleged cut would have happened.

However, a sub-sea cable outage affecting a single country, while technically possible, has not been reported in recent years. Despite telecoms operators assertions that windy conditions might have caused Somalia's internet to cut out, coastal weather records for Mogadishu show calm conditions and lower-than-average wind speeds at the time the disruption came into effect.

The internet blackout comes as Somalia MP's voted to oust the Prime Minister, further complicating the electoral crisis.

The outage dramatically affects the ability of journalists to communicate and relay important messages.



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